What Is Responsive Web Design?

Posted 17.02.2016

By Rob Twells

Responsive web design is more important than ever. If you don’t have a responsive website, you could lose out on a tonne of sales/enquiries.

What is it?

Responsive web design is the art of adjusting websites to make them look great and function the way they should on all screen sizes and devices. Can you think of a time you’ve been browsing a website on your mobile and ended up leaving it because of how long it was taking a page to load or how hard it was to navigate? These are just two of the reasons you could be losing customers when they visit your site on another device.

Responsive websites done badly

Sadly, not all responsive websites are ‘optimal’. Is it enough to scale down a website to single column and leave it at that? Not in our eyes!

Some web developers seem to think that simply scaling down a website so it fits the viewport of a screen is enough. This simply isn’t the case, responsive web design takes much more than that for it to become effective. Not all mobile devices render elements that a desktop does, for example.

Good responsive web design

Responsive web design is all about user experience; giving the users what they want and when they want it. This includes deciding what content to display on any given screen size and how to display it.

For example, on a desktop screen we can afford to have more fun with layouts whilst still providing a great experience. To effectively utilise a website on a mobile device, you have to be much more thoughtful and strategic with what you display.

Take a client of ours, Golding Skip Hire, a company we recently worked with to renovate their website. As a great little user experience addition to the site, we consistently display a booking form on the website whilst the user scrolls down. With that form always being in view, we are able to dramatically increase conversions for Goldings because the user has the option of booking a skip at any time regardless of where they are on the site.

Effective responsive web design


The challenge on mobile was to replicate this experience without taking up too much of the screen with the form. To accomplish this, we have a button at the top of the page which sticks there as the user scrolls. This isn’t a full form of course, but the principle still applies; the user has the option to book skip hire at any point throughout the site.


When a user visits a website using a mobile device, they are usually trying to find one of the following:

  • General information about company or services
  • Contact details
  • Directions

Again, it is not enough to just scale down the website from a desktop version to effectively allow the user to find these details. Web development has become comprehensive enough to let us developers utilise some native mobile functions such as ‘click to call’ or opening addresses up in the smartphones map application.

The new Sano Physiotherapy website on a laptop and mobile screen

Effective responsive web design is usually a case of stripping out content. Some content that can be displayed on desktop due to the extra screen real estate may not be necessary on a smaller screen and therefore should be stripped out so the user can only see what they need, usually from the list above.

These are just a few examples of what sets us apart from other web design agencies.

We form a strategy for your website to tailor the experience for each and every device.

We don’t just claim our websites are responsive, we go to many lengths to ensure that your website achieves your goal no matter how your visitors choose to reach you.

Every website we have made is responsive.
Take a look for yourself!

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